Dance is beautiful. There are always new forms and new developments. Its ever-changing nature means the learning and improvement never stop-even for people like me who are lifelong dancers. These are just a few of the things that make me love it so much.
I’ve danced for 16 years. Even though I knew who Twyla Tharp was and had seen some of her work, I’d never been exposed to her unique style of choreography in the studio. After a few short weeks with the Treefrog technique, the way I view dance has already changed. I didn’t know what to expect with this course, but that is something I couldn’t have predicted. The studios I attended growing up didn’t really focus on ballet or contemporary dance, so I’m a little all over the place when it comes to the “right” techniques for both styles. But I was still surprised when our instructor told us to do everything from parallel positions to not spotting our turns. Even at my less than nurturing home studio, we still learned to spot while turning!
Twyla’s technique is so different from anything I’ve ever learned. Transitioning to her style was like trying to switch gears on a bike while riding down a steep hill at 100 miles per hour. Needless to say, it was messy. Don’t get me wrong-I’m in love with Twyla’s style. It has purpose-something I can’t get enough of right now! So much of mainstream contemporary dancing has become “sad suffering pain,” and I’m not about that. As awesome as that can be to watch, I love dance that lifts you up more than gets you down. Twyla’s dancing lifts me so high and leaves me feeling so light. Every arm swing, every side of a foot across the ground-everything has its place, purpose, and specific approach. There’s not a whole lot of room for individualization, which can be a relief when you’re expected to be able to create new movements every class. It’s also nice to practice one specific style and see improvement on steps.
Twyla’s choreography is different and foreign and something I never expected, but I love it! I love dancing it! I’m excited to keep going and see myself improve throughout the year.